Little Italy’s best 5 à 7 is the nomadic weekly Aperitivo

Little Italy’s 5 à 7 series Aperitivo is the perfect way to sample a new neighbourhood restaurant every Wednesday evening this autumn.


Aperitivo at Quindici. Photo by Felipe Almeida.

Who doesn’t love a good 5 à 7? For the next six Wednesdays, Little Italy will play host to a fall edition of Aperitivo, arguably one of the city’s finest post­work drinking and snacking social gathering.

Photo by Felipe Almeida.
Photo by Felipe Almeida.

A $15 cover gets you a glass of wine or beer and a seemingly endless parade of appetizers to nosh on while you stand around the bar and try to look like you had a successful day at work.

Each week, Aperitivo moves to a new restaurant, and for the inaugural session at chic resto Quindici on Belanger, the spicy ceviche shots and risotto with caviar kept coming for the few who braved the northern remnants of Hurricane Patricia. There were also breaded salmon balls and chicken satay skewers, which were more filling, as well as tasty pizza with extremely gooey cheese. On a busier night there could be some light jostling when a fresh tray of canapés hits the bar, but during the rain­soaked premiere there was more than enough for everyone. No need to keep an eye on the kitchen for impending refills, either.

Aperitivo is designed to show off Little Italy restaurants and build interest in the already trendy neighbourhood, and in that regard one gets a sense of what makes the area special. The event hosts are disarmingly friendly: they’ll come up to you, introduce themselves and make sure the right hashtags are being used. After the initial glass of wine goes down, it’s a steady stream of sensibly sized grub that demonstrates what these quality restos can do without putting a serious dent in your wallet. While the menu will vary week to week, it’s the simple format of Aperitivo that makes this an especially inviting proposition. At Quindici there was even a solo musical performer serenading us with smooth jazz covers of popular tunes.


Aperitivo at Quindici. Photo by Felipe Almeida.

It was hard to get a sense of the clientele because the weather kept people away, although it did seem to cater towards an older audience. It is, after all, intended to be an after­work event, so it shouldn’t be surprising to be a lot of suits in the room.

Aperitivo goes on for another six weeks, and as far as 5 à 7’s go, you can’t argue with the price point and food quality. Yes, you will spend extra money since you’ll likely want more than one drink, but I left Quindici feeling like I had participated in something different than the usual pub fries and beer—not that I don’t still have a soft spot for those things. Consider it a classier alternative. ■

Little Italy’s Aperitivo’s will be taking place each Wednesday evening from now through Dec. 9 on the schedule below. For more information, check out the event page here.

Nov. 4: Corneli’s (6741 St­-Laurent)

Nov. 11: Inferno (6850 St­-Dominique)

Nov. 18: Café Epoca (6778 St­-Laurent)

Nov. 25: Le Pourvoyeur (184 Jean­-Talon E.)

Dec. 2: Café International (6714 St-­Laurent)

Dec. 9: Gout4U (6706 St­-Laurent)